save the water simple ways to reduce water during a drought

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the ongoing drought crisis in California. California is facing it’s 4th year of one of the most severe droughts in history, and there’s no end in sight. Even if you don’t live here in California, the gravity of the situation has gained enough national attention that concerned people all over the country are trying to find new and creative ways to help conserve water.

sky view of lake oroville during a drought showing very little water present

How did the California drought get so severe? Well, the simple answer is the lack of rain and snowfall over the past several years. Californians rely heavily on winter snowpack to resupply surface water streams and lakes. Because of a lack of winter storms and record high temperatures this past winter, snowpack in California is at an all-time low. Take a look at these photos taken by a Yosemite Conservancy webcam that show Half Dome on March 19 of each year from 2011 to 2015.

snowy peak of mountain This photo from 2011 shows a “normal” amount of snowfall.

the drought in 2015 through Yosemite snowpack for 4 yearsIt’s quite obvious in these images that California has been steadily receiving snowfall levels that are nowhere near the necessary average amounts for the past several years. Without the required amount of snowfall, California’s surface water levels are currently FAR below normal, forcing us to once again turn to quickly diminishing groundwater aquifers below the surface.

lake oroville before and after drought examples side by side
Photos by the California Department of Water Resources show the diminishing water levels at Lake Oroville in 2011 and 2014.

Mandatory water cuts have been imposed in an effort to conserve enough groundwater for California’s farmers. These farmers supply a sizeable majority of the fruits and vegetables that feed the entire United States (including nearly 90% of all US-grown broccoli, cauliflower, grapes, strawberries, avocados, artichokes, kiwis, dates, figs, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, walnuts, almonds…the list goes on and on!). There’s no doubt about it – the situation in California is drastic, and it effects the entire country.

So, what can we do to help?

Everyone has heard the advice to take shorter showers, repair leaky faucets, and to turn off the sink while you brush your teeth. All of those are great suggestions, but there are even more ways that you can help to conserve water, too!

Purple Red SucculentsConsider replacing lawns and flowerbeds with drought tolerant ground covers and succulents that require considerably less water than their traditional counterparts.

succulents growing in gardenAdding a layer of mulch around plants will help to prevent evaporation, keep the plant’s roots moist for longer, and spread out the time between waterings.

potato plants with drip irrigationStudies show that a well-designed drip irrigation system can save 30-50% water when compared to standard watering methods.

shower with water drops in blue bathroomInside your home, switch to low flow shower heads and toilets that can reduce water usage by up to 5 gallons per flush or shower. High-efficiency faucet aerators mix air into the water stream, lowering water usage by up to 50% and saving hundreds of dollars off of your water bill over their lifetime!

Use grey water from dishes to water your gardenRecycle your dishwater by using an environmentally-safe washing soap like Green Works Dishwashing Liquid to wash your dishes. It’s biodegradable and naturally-derived, allowing you to reuse dishwater for chores like watering the yards or plants. If you get into the habit of recycling dishwater for gardening, you might be able to keep a few of your favorite not-so-drought-resistant plants after all!

Green Works Liquid Laundry Detergent and Dishwashing LiquidHigh-efficiency (HE) washing machines require 20-60% less water than traditional washers. Green Works makes a fabulous naturally derived HE laundry detergent that is formulated to be low-sudsing and require less water. Installing a graywater system will allow you to use recycled laundry water for landscape irrigation as well. Nearly 60 percent of a person’s household water footprint can be recycled toward lawn and garden maintenance – wow! Maybe those lush green lawns don’t have to be a thing of the past!

All of Green Works’ products are naturally derived, so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals, and they are safe for children and pets. For more information, be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Do you have any water-saving tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below!

heidi from happiness is homemade signature


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Green Works. The opinions and text are all mine.

Share This Post with Your Friends!